Warm Up In a Baltimore Museum this Winter!

As the weather gets colder, it can be difficult to find fun, indoor activities to pass the time! Have you ever considered visiting a museum in Charm City? The variety is unbelievable – everything from a railroad to a tattoo museum, and many are free or cheap for students.

Walters Art Museum

The collection at the Walters Art Museum is an overview of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, including Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories and Old Master paintings.

On October 26, a free installation called Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story, opened in honor of the Walters’s 80th anniversary as a public institution, and takes visitors on a journey through the extraordinary gift given by Henry Walters to Baltimore.

Hours of Operation: Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Address: 600 N. Charles St, Baltimore, Md., 21201

Admission: Free

Phone: 410-547-9000

Website: www.thewalters.org

Baltimore Museum of Art

The BMA is celebrating 100 years this November! On Nov. 15, the museum will host an 100th Anniversary Gala, and the public grand opening will be on Nov. 23, a free and festive day filled with storytelling, musical performances, food trucks, and in-gallery conversations with museum educators!

Hours of Operation: Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Address: 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md, 21218

Admission: Free

Phone: 443-573-1700
Website:
www.artbma.org

American Visionary Art Museum

AVAM’s art is visionary, meaning self-taught individuals that typically don’t have formal training produce it from their own creative visions. AVAM believes their artwork is different from “folk art” (typical museum art) because it is spontaneous and individualized.

The current exhibition on display is The Visionary Experience: Saint Francis to Finster, which features a centennial celebration of American artist, Rev. Howard Finster. The museum also just installed a huge outdoor mosaic.

Don’t miss: Sideshow shop, the museum’s gift shop full of funny, bizarre and trendy books, jewelry, and other items!

Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed Mondays

Address: 800 Key Hwy, Baltimore, Md., 21230

Admission: $9.95 for college students, $15.95 for adults

Phone: 410-244-1900

Website: http://www.avam.org

Baltimore Museum of Industry

Founded in 1981, the BMI features exhibits focused on the industrial and technological heritage of the Baltimore region for the public by highlighting the stories of Maryland’s industries and the people who worked to create them.

On November 7, the Baltimore Shops exhibit opens, which examines the impact left by 19th century markets, downtown department stores, and today’s independent merchants. It will be opened until March 8, 2015.

On December 4, beer lovers rejoice. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Hugh Sisson of Heavy Seas Brewery will lead a beer tasting. Learn about the brewing process and the history of Baltimore beer while enjoying a local beer and a food pairing provided by Kloby’s Smokehouse.

Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed on Mondays

Address: 1415 Key Hwy, Baltimore, MD 21230

Admission: $7 for students, $12 for adults

Phone: (410) 727-4808

Website: www.thebmi.org

Baltimore Tattoo Museum

While BTM displays exhibits of traditional electric tattooing in America, the museum is also a fully functioning tattoo studio.

Some of the exhibits include Carol Nightingale, Stoney St. Clair, Doc Webb, and Carney.

Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Address: 1534 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21231

Admission: Free

Phone: (410) 522-5800

Website: www.baltimoretattoomuseum.net

B&O Railroad Museum

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum is the oldest, most comprehensive American railroad collection in the world. The 40-acre site is always changing exhibits and collections.

Starting on November 22, the B&O Magical Holiday Express begins, with six festive weekends filled with activities. The museum also has a Community Giving Train, a celebration that helps local charities who help those in need this season, like Toys for Tots, Maryland Food Bank ad Maryland Book Bank.

Hours of Operation: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Address: 901 W Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21223

Admission: $18 for adults

Phone: (410) 752-2490

Website: www.borail.org

Maryland Science Center

The MSC provides scientific exhibits for people of any age wanting to learn, including: the Maryland blue crab, Newton’s Alley, Life Beyond Earth, and Dinosaur Mysteries. The center also features the Davis Planetarium, a dark dome filled with thousands of stars and planets for space lovers.

Currently, the IMAX theater has a mix of films, such as Flight of the Butterflies 3D, Forces of Nature, Star-Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty, Penguins 3D, The Human Body, and more.

Hours of Operation: Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Mondays

Address: 601 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21230

Admission: $18.95 for an adult with exhibit halls, planetarium and demo stage. $22.95 with one IMAX film

Phone: (410) 685-5225

Website: www.mdsci.org

Emily Dutt, Marketing Intern

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A Day in DC

Baltimore is a cultural hub filled with things to do and see. But, what’s also great about this city is location, location, location. Philly is a short drive, New York City is a bus ride away, and our nation’s capital is a little down the road. So, if you ever want to explore another city’s hustle and bustle there are many options!

This week, I crossed DC off my to do list. I have been to the city a few times before, but not as often as I have hoped while living in Baltimore. So, taking advantage of a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, a friend and I took a day to explore.

While we strolled around the monuments my friend had the great idea to ride bikes to our next destination; the Newseum. We found the closest bike share which is located all around the city and pedaled our way down the streets of DC. In no time we were at the Newseum which has an amazing collection of news and journalism. As a journalism student, I was in awe of what filled the walls of the gallery and could have stayed the entire afternoon!

But, back on the bikes we went. Our next stop was Dupont circle where we walked around and did a little window shopping. After working up an appetite we grabbed a quick bite to eat and made our way back on the Metro to head home.

We only scratched the surface of what DC has to offer. The city is filled with art, music, and museums that can keep you busy for days. So if the weather keeps us on our toes like it has, take advantage of the next sunny day and explore!

*Bolt Bus and Mega Bus offer cheap tickets to some great cities.

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Geppi’s is Good – But Only as Pre-Game Entertainment.

Last weekend was Collegetown Night at the O’s! And the weather was so nice, we wanted to make a whole night out of it. So we headed out early to venture to Geppi’s Entertainment Museum that is located right next door to Camden Yards. This museum is touted as a pop-culture museum, featuring everything media and “fun” related from decades back. It was a great museum for a pre-game warm-up, but after our tour, we knew that if we had come for the museum exclusively, it would not have been as satisfying.

The museum is located on the second floor of the Camden Station building, right above the Sports Legend Museum. As you make your way up the stairs, you are instantly prepared for what lies ahead as the walls are covered in old-time and modern movie posters and comic strips. The museum lobby is dark (a common theme we could have used less of) but the attendants were there to instantly greet us and tell us about the lay-out of the museum, and the interactive scavenger hunt that you can participate in as you walk through the museum. (This involves placing a little card under a computer reader and answering some trivia questions. You get a prize at the end, but it’s just a little something to count as a souvenir.) The great thing about going on a game day, was that ticket prices were just $1. This is true for all Ravens and Orioles games – a definite bonus for an attendee with a college student budget.

We had intentionally traveled to Geppi’s to see the featured “Barbie: Celebrating 50 Years” exhibit. We started out of order to make sure we had time to see this exhibit first, since the museum closes at 6 on game days. (They suggest going through the museum in chronological order, which is how the displays are set-up.) While there were some cool old-school Barbies from the 50’s, we were kind of disappointed with the “featured” exhibit. Sure, there were lots of cool Barbies to look at, but they were all “Collector’s Editions”, and no more than 5 were from any decade before the 1990’s. Our group consisted of individuals who had owned an original Barbie and clothes for the doll from the 50’s and 60’s. Needless to say, they were disappointed that we saw more things we recognized from the Barbie of our childhood than theirs.

We then proceeded to go through the rest of the museum. As you enter each room of the museum, a voice overhead tells you the details about the era you are walking in to. The first two rooms looked at newspapers, and the advertisements and toys that came with early American print-media. This was probably the most historical aspect of the museum, where we were actually more inclined to read about the significance of the comics and toys then to just stare in amusement and awe at all the “cool old toys and games.”

The rest of the museum was filled with old games, toys, and an entire room full of old comics. It was really interesting to see the kinds of toys and games our parents had played with when they were younger, and to see what the original characters we know and love now looked like when they were born. (Both Mickey and Donald look totally different today than they did 30 years ago. Plus, make sure you check out the Snap, Crackle, Pop guys from Rice Krispies – you’ll find something strange about the originals.) Though we have to say there was a heavier presence of “boy” toys than “girl” toys, we were still really excited to see all the old stuff. Plus, you can even find some of the toys you played with as a child yourself. (We got a little nostalgic when we found a Shrinky-Dinks set – ahh those were the days!)

And while we enjoyed looking at all of the cool old school pop culture stuff, we did have a few complaints. One, the entire museum was poorly lit. Now we know they probably have to keep the lights low to preserve the artifacts, but it was so dark that it was hard to read the captions and find out what everything even was. Also, the walls are covered in movie posters and other fun things – but they are piled way too high. We had to crane our necks back to try and see the stuff on the walls, and even then we felt like we were missing stuff. And we’d have to say that if we had paid the full price ($10) we would have been disappointed. There just wasn’t as much stuff as we thought there was going to be – and since most of the items were things we had never heard of, without being able to read the captions we were left guessing and skipping over some of the items.

But, overall, we’d recommend checking out this museum if you’re already going to a ball game. You can get in for cheap, check out some cool toys, and then head over to the ball game for a bite to eat before warm-ups. (Plus, if you go right before game time, you’ll see less of a crowd as everyone is making their way to the stadium.) We enjoyed out pre-game stroll through Geppi’s and we think you will too. So if you’re on your way over to cheer on the O’s and down some hot dogs, make sure you stop in to see some cool old toys and games for only a buck. If you’re not a baseball fan, or can’t make it out on a game day, then we’d skip this attraction for now, and check out some other Baltimore hotspots first.

Maps: Finding our Place in the World – a New Exhibit at The Walters

We got a sneak peek at the brand new exhibit opening at The Walters and are here to say, it’s one of the best we’ve ever seen!

The Walters in itself has always featured some exquisite pieces that are breathtaking in beauty. But this exhibit in particular is different, because it is thought-provoking and educational, as well as being an exhibit aimed at making a change in our society.

The unique collection of one of a kind pieces that The Walters has discovered is truly amazing. From original maps penned by some of America’s most influential leaders like Lincoln and Washington, to the inventive maps of our early ancestors sculpting their shorelines, these maps look at everything from how to get where your going, to solving societal problems (by mapping where disease outbreak is most common to find the root cause of it, for example.) There’s the colorful and fun map of the Land of Make-Believe, which at least brought us back to the days when our parents read us nursery rhymes, and the navigational correctness of some of the earliest world maps on record. Our personal favorite, though, was the 4-minute geographical representation of the Civil War. Imagine seeing the progress of both Union and Confederate, and the death toll endured by both sides all within a few short minutes. (The result is simply astounding and we guarantee you will be mesmerized.)

The next part of the Maps exhibit was the Mapping the Cosmos display. We all know the awesomeness of the Hubble Telescope – it’s pretty much one of the few things we remember from our Elementary school science days. But this exhibit truly shows that our 5th grade teacher was right – the Hubble Telescope provides an eye into the way the Universe looks now, and how it did billions of years ago. The pictures that the Hubble has provided show galaxies in such in-depth detail that they almost seem to pop off the page like a 3-D movie would. And if you’ve ever wanted to see how stars are born, or how they die, the Hubble has provided an up-close and personal view of this incredible phenomenon.

Another portion of the exhibit was the Maps on Purpose exhibit, which showed how maps are moving people in our very own community to take action. Community members of neighborhoods in Baltimore that are going through “rebuilding” phases got involved in a map-making project that would display their concerns for the area, and how so much has changed since the neighborhood began. Even the children of the neighborhood got involved and drew pictures of themselves doing the things they love to do in the places they love to do them. By showing so many different views on this difficult challenge, the Maps on Purpose exhibit is giving a voice to those who need it.

We know that going to museums to look at beautiful paintings may get redundant. But with such an extensive and unique collection of maps – pretty much anywhere in the Nation – the Maps: Finding our Place in the World exhibit is truly one not to be missed. If you’re going to go to any museum this Spring, it should be the Walters for this exhibit.